EXCLUSIVE: Strength in NUMBERS Featuring STYLES INFINITE by Fred Chao

At my new site, The Nerds of Color, I mentioned I was fortunate enough to be a tangential part of this massive hip-hop project called Strength in NUMBERS. Created and arranged by Chops, Strength in NUMBERS brings together nearly three dozen singers, rappers, and DJs to spotlight some of the top Asian American talent in the urban music scene. Think of it as the Secret Identities of hip-hop. That’s why Chops reached out to me for this aspect of the collaboration.

Working with a dozen and a half artists, cartoonists, and designers, we created 35 individual alternate album covers, one for each of the musicians on the album. We’re releasing the first three covers today exclusively at CHOPSmusic.com, TheNerdsofColor.org, and here at SIUniverse.org, respectively. Each of these covers, featuring all three members of the Mountain Brothers, was drawn by SHATTERED’s own Fred Chao.

After the jump, you will be able to download a high-resolution jpeg of the first of three Strength in NUMBERS “variant” album covers. Just right-click and save.

Continue reading “EXCLUSIVE: Strength in NUMBERS Featuring STYLES INFINITE by Fred Chao”

Shattered Sneak Peek: Hibakusha: Secrets

Hibakusha: Secrets from Shattered
In this scene from SHATTERED, we re-meet: Ryan Suda (Power: Body produces steroid-grade epinephrine allowing him to access to the upper limits of human strength and endurance), Kat Nagano (Power: Psi ability to excite atoms within any object), and Daisuke “Dice” Kim (Power: Ability to manipulate any object’s density) in THE HIBAKUSHA: Secrets
Beautifully rendered by Sean Chen, Kat is meltin’ helmets while Dice stops a hail of bullets with a wave of his hand and Ryan kicks some serious tail (a baddie with 9 of ‘em no less!)
The Hibakusha from Secret Identities

But as you can see from their first outing in THE HIBAKUSHA from Volume 1, they weren’t very… experienced.  Drawn here by Glenn Urieta, Ryan is crumpled on the ground near-unconscious, as his blood vessels have constricted from too much adrenaline.  Dice has instinctively activated his density abilities only to sadly embed himself into the ground while Kat stands protectively over Ryan heating… the surrounding air.
So check out this story to see how they became so adept at using their abilities when SHATTERED: The Asian American Comics Anthology hits stores in Fall 2012!! 

SIUniverse is now on tumblr

We’ve added another notch on our social media utility belt. After staking our claim on Facebook, twitter, and YouTube, we’ve decided to add tumblr to the mix. (We have a Pinterest board too, but, uh, I don’t know how it works.)

The official SIUniverse tumblr has been around for a few weeks now, but this past Saturday was the official launch of what we’re calling SHATTEREDay ’round these parts. Basically, every Saturday from now until the foreseeable future, we’ll feature a sneak peek at the stuff we’re getting in from artists and writers. And it’s good stuff. Stuff we can’t wait to share with the rest of you!

Last week on the tumblr, we unveiled character designs of Jimson Fo and John Henry from Jeff’s “Driving Steel” sequel “The Breaking” by artist Krishna Sadasivam

Good stuff, right?

So bookmark the SIUniverse tumblr, and check it out every Satur… SHATTEREDay™ for new updates!

Secret Identities Volume 2, BURN…

Originally posted on the Epic Proportions blog For What It’s Worth


So It’s finally begun.  Or rather….I’ve finally begun to do some drawing on the BURN story I’m working on with my brother for Secret Identities Volume 2.  Just thought I’d post the pencils I’ve done for page 1.
These are semi tight pencils for me.  I’m leaving a lot of the detail work to be done when I ink it.  I didn’t want to waste any time penciling in the different textures and stuff.
The original for this is an odd size.  It stands at 10×12.5″ due to the 8×10″ page size of the graphic novel.
So I had a little trouble adjusting to that as it through off my whole “scale” in terms of close ups and far shots on the page.
But am hoping it came out alright.
I also did not use a ruler to do any of the drawing besides the panel borders.  For some reason, I just wanted to keep this loose and just kinda “wing” it.
Just the pencils for this page took me about….5 and a half hours to draw.  As pathetic as this sounds, inking generally takes me a little longer.
Yeah….I’m pretty slow.
Anyway, I won’t be posting every page I draw here, but thought it’d be fun to post the first one.
I’ll definitely post the ink and grey tones of this page when I finish each stage just so you can see how much more detail I intend on adding.

Secret Identities at Time Warner

Our illustrious Senior Artist Jef Castro snapped some photos of the Secret Identities artwork that is currently on display at Time Warner, Inc. Gallery.

As we said earlier, we’ll be at a special panel hosted by Time’s Asian American Association this Thursday at 6pm talking about the book and presenting the artwork on display in these photos.

Check it out!

SECRET IDENTITIES: The Traveling Art Gallery (Special "Jung Kicks Butt" Edition)

…So if you’ve read Secret Identities, you know that Jung the delivery guy from Koji Sakai and John Franzese’s “Meet Joe” is gangsta. But you won’t know just how gangsta until you’ve seen this all-new pinup John sketched for our traveling gallery, illustrating an off-panel sequence from the story: Jung chopping a ginormous mechanical agent of death in half with a single bad-a$$ open-hand blow.

How gangsta is Jung?

Flat. Out. Gangsta.

Next volume, we gotta do “Meet Joe: Origins – Jung.”

SECRET IDENTITIES: The Traveling Art Gallery (Part One!)

So, we’re collecting original artwork from the book (as well as brand new, never before seen pieces created by Secret Identities‘ mega-talented artistical crew) to bring with us to the various museums and galleries we’re going to be visiting over the next few months—and the pieces have started to roll in! Herewith, as displayed on my living room sofa, are the first six submissions:

  • Alex Joon Kim‘s original pages from Tanuj Chopra’s hilarious “S.O.S.”!
  • Two takes by Martin Hsu on Dragon Boy, star of his sweetly elliptical fantasy “Long”!
  • An all-new, beautifully rendered and inked sketch by Vince Sunico of Captain Matthew Kim, from Daniel Jai Lee’s “Heroes Without a Country“—here seen fighting the good fight against the Nazi super-creeps known as the Ubermenschen!
  • Another all-new sketch, inked and watercolored by A.L. Baroza—this one a crossover piece featuring a selection of the book’s female heroes: Karin from “Meet Joe“; Candace “Tin Candy” Koh (in mecha outfit) and Val “Pretty Super Schoolgirl Valentine” Chang from “A Day at CostumeCo“; Hellen Jo’s Brazen Raisin (in background); June Park from “Sampler“; and Ting “Scarf Girl” Lee from “You Are What You Eat“! And robots!
  • Yet another all-new sketch, rendered and inked by Benton Jew, of Jimson Fo and the young John Henry, from “Driving Steel“…hammerlicious!
  • And finally, the original color artwork of Yul Kwon’s Cataclysm, as gorgeously painted by Deodato Pangandoyon…which Deo sent to us already framed. Wow…you really didn’t have to, Deo! (But it looks fantastic…)

Many more pieces are on their way. Pieces from the “Secret Identities” Traveling Gallery will be on display at Wing Luke Museum in Seattle, WA on May 14; the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, CA on May 30 (and possibly longer); the Museum of Chinese in the Americas in New York, NY from July 11; and in the New York headquarters of Time Warner from May 11 through the end of May.

The Secret Identities Universe Illustration…

This illustration took me a really long time. But it was important to me to do, as my fellow editors (Jeff Yang, Parry Shen and Keith Chow) have been talking for awhile about a drawing by one of our contributing artists of all the characters from the book.

So I thought to myself….well….why don’t I do it?

This illustration has atleast 1 character from each story. I wanted to put every single character in, but there simply wasn’t enough room on the page. The original drawing is done on a 2 ply smooth 14×17″ bristol page.

Anyway, I’ve gone ahead and posted the 3 different stages it took to complete this piece. The first being pencils, then inks, and finally the finished grey tone version. Just for the record, I used a 3H lead pencil. Which is a hard lead that helps create a sharp clean line. I then used micron felt tip pens to ink it. And I used a much looser “hand” to ink it with to help create a more organic sketch feel to it. And finally I used some prismacolor markers to add grey tones to it.

This original piece will be displayed at the Time Warner Building in New York May 21 (thurs) as part of the Asian Heritage Month art exhibit. There will also be other pieces from contributing artists from the book as well as another piece from me.

Anyway, hope that I was able to do “right” by all the other great artist’s on the book with this drawing.


Hey everyone.
So I thought I’d post another sketch that I drew on the inside cover of another copy of Secret Identities. This copy I believe is for ningin.com.

Anyway, this sketch is of one of my favorite characters from the Marvel Universe….Sunfire!!! I always thought he was one of the most underrated characters in comics.

I do hope everyone will enjoy this sketch as much as I did drawing it.

And remember, please ask your local book and comic book stores to pick up Secret Identities if they don’t have it already!

Another Bruce Lee Charity Sketch

cross-posted by Jerry Ma at his blog For What It’s Worth.

So I have done another Bruce Lee sketch on the inside cover of a copy of Secret Identities. This sketch was done for a charity of a much smaller scale, but still a good one regardless. This drawing was done for my friend Ren Hsieh, who runs a basketball league called FastBreak.

But I’ve donated this sketch inside the book, along with a Bruce Lee t-shirt that I designed “Super Fly”. There will be raffle tickets purchased for a number of prizes. And all the proceeds go towards a Youth Basketball League. Ren is trying to raise enough money so that all the kids won’t have to pay money to play in the league. Growing up as a kid, I never had the money to play in these organized leagues and would have loved a guy like Ren for doing this.

Here is the info for the RockBand party he is throwing for the event.

Host: Fastbreak NYC
Type: PartyBenefit
Network: Global

Date: Sunday, March 29, 2009
Time: 2:00pm – 9:00pm
Street: 135 W 41st Street, Basement
City/Town: New York, NY
Email: ren@fastbreaknyc.com

So cheers to you Ren. Hope this drawing, book and t shirt help achieve your goal.